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KARACHI: An antiterrorism court has reserved its judgement in a case pertaining to an alleged attempt on the life of American educationist Debra Lobo made by an Islamic State-inspired convict.

Convicted accused Saad Aziz, alias Tin Tin, has been charged with shooting at and wounding Ms Lobo, the vice principal of Karachi’s Jinnah Medical and Dental College, on Shaheed-i-Millat Road in April 2015.

The ATC-XI judge, who is conducting the trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, reserved his judgement after recording the evidence and final arguments from the prosecution and defence sides.

According to the prosecution, the veteran educationist was on her way home in Defence Housing Authority in a car when the attack took place at approximately 3pm.

Although she survived the attack, Ms Lobo suffered two bullet wounds on her hand and face.

Aziz, who along with other IS-inspired youths had been sentenced to death by a military court in the cases pertaining to the Safoora Goth carnage and killing of social media campaigner and human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, was booked in the present case registered under Sections 324 (attempted murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at the Ferozabad police station.

During the trial, Advocate Mohammad Jiwani, defence counsel for Saad Aziz, contended that his client was framed in the present case and that there was no evidence available to establish his role in the offence.

The prosecutor argued that an eyewitness had identified Saad Aziz as the primary shooter in the incident, during an identification parade.

The court was asked to punish the detained accused.

After hearing final arguments from both sides, the judge reserved his verdict in the case to be pronounced later.

Aziz, a business graduate from a prestigious Karachi institution, along with his other accomplices was handed over to military authorities in January 2016 to face trial before military courts in 18 cases.

Later, the convicts were handed back to jail authorities.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019

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